Carotid triangle

The carotid triangle (or superior carotid triangle) is a portion of the anterior triangle of the neck.

Carotid triangle
Carotid triangle
Latintrigonum caroticum
Anatomical terminology

Coverings and boundaries

It is bounded:

  • Posteriorly by the anterior border of the Sternocleidomastoid;
  • Anteroinferiorly, by the superior belly of the Omohyoid.
  • Superiorly by the posterior belly of the digastric muscle.

It is (covered) by the integument, superficial fascia, Platysma and deep fascia; ramifying in which are branches of the facial and cutaneous cervical nerves.

Its floor is formed by parts of the


The external and internal carotids lie side by side, the external being the more anterior of the two.

The following branches of the external carotid are also met with in this space:


The veins met with are:

...all of which end in the internal jugular vein.


Superficial to the carotid sheath lies the hypoglossal nerve and ansa cervicalis of the cervical plexus.

The hypoglossal nerve crosses both the internal and external carotids, curving around the origin of the occipital artery.

Within the sheath, between the artery and vein, and behind both, is the vagus nerve; behind the sheath, the sympathetic trunk.

On the lateral side of the vessels, the accessory nerve runs for a short distance before it pierces the Sternocleidomastoideus; and on the medial side of the external carotid, just below the hyoid bone, the internal branch of the superior laryngeal nerve may be seen; and, still more inferiorly, the external branch of the same nerve.

Other contents

The upper portion of the larynx and lower portion of the pharynx are also found in the front part of this space.

See also

Additional images


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 564 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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